Article Contributed by
Northwest Savings Bank
The number of attacks on mobile devices is growing due to the increased popularity of mobile banking. According to a report by the Federal Reserve, 53 percent of all smartphone users say they have used mobile banking in the past 12 months.
“Smartphones have become increasingly susceptible to online threats,” said Jessica McKeirnan, Bank Security manager for Northwest. “It is extremely important that any device used to connect to the Internet is properly secured and updated regularly to deter online invasions.”
In recognition of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Northwest recommends that consumers take extra precaution to protect the data on their mobile device by doing the following:
- Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.
- Log out completely when you finish a mobile banking session.
- Protect your phone from viruses and malicious software, or malware, just like you do for your computer by installing mobile security software.
- Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps.
- Use caution when downloading apps. Apps can contain malicious software, worms, and viruses. Beware of apps that ask for unnecessary “permissions.”
- Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords or a social security number on your mobile device.
- Tell your financial institution immediately if you change your phone number or lose your mobile device.
- Be aware of shoulder surfers. The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings especially when you’re punching in sensitive information.
- Wipe your mobile device before you donate, sell or trade it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.
- Beware of mobile phishing. Avoid opening links and attachments in emails and texts, especially from senders you don’t know. And be wary of ads (not from your security provider) claiming that your device is infected.
- Watch out for public Wi-Fi. Public connections aren’t very secure, so don’t perform banking transactions on a public network. If you need to access your account, try disabling the Wi-Fi and switching to your mobile network.
- Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.
About Northwest Bank
Northwest Bank operates 167 full-service offices and 9 free-standing drive throughs. Founded in 1896, Northwest offers a complete line of personal and business banking products including employee benefits, investment management services, insurance and trust. Northwest Bancshares, Inc. is the holding company of Northwest and is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market as NWBI. More information about Northwest can be found online at www.northwest.com.